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Hotel DeBrett 5.0

Central Business District, Auckland, Auckland Region

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Convenient location near Britomart in the Central Business District
  • Individually decorated rooms and suites -- many loft-style
  • Most bathrooms have deep soaking tubs, rainfall showers, and heated floors
  • Stylish DeBretts Kitchen open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend afternoon tea
  • Two bars serving local beers, wines, and cocktails
  • Kid-friendly rooms with Playstations and optional toys and baby monitors
  • Free breakfast and evening aperitifs
  • A few small board rooms with catering available 
  • Free local calls and hotel-wide Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Check-in time is later than at most hotels
  • No fitness center, pool, or large meeting spaces

Bottom Line

The 25-room Hotel DeBrett is a charming, five-pearl boutique in Auckland's Central Business District, a short walk from Britomart. Rooms and suites here are individually decorated, and some are spread over two levels, loft-style. All have bold, colorful striped carpet and though furnishings vary a bit, the overall aesthetic is bright and a bit retro. Although on-site amenities are limited to meeting rooms, a restaurant, and two bars, the hotel goes all out with its culinary options -- the on-site DeBretts Kitchen offers eclectic fine-dining at lunch and dinner along with a free breakfast and special weekend afternoon teas. Guests willing to forgo the charming boutique experience in favor of more amenities may prefer the nearby SKYCITY Grand Hotel, which has a pool and a large fitness center. Wi-Fi is free throughout. 

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Scene

Colorful, upscale boutique in an Art Deco building with a long history

The space that houses the five-pearl Hotel DeBrett dates back to 1841, when it was home to the Commercial Hotel, one of the first hotels in the city. Two fires and two rebuilds later, the current structure was finally put up in 1925, although it wasn't until 1959 that it got its current name. For a long time it operated as a backpackers hostel and fell into disrepair, before finally being acquired by its current owners in 2007.  

The lobby is now a warm, retro space, with a mix of wood-paneling and red-painted walls and ceilings strung with a hodgepodge of round lantern-style lamps. The floors are a mix of mosaic tile and hardwood and there are a few 1960s-style chairs plus a big plush red sofa. A single brass-colored elevator sits next to the reception desk for guests who don't want to take the stairs and there's a glass vitrine with various tchotchkes for sale. Hallways are more modern and feature the same colorful, striped carpet found in the rooms (it was apparently inspired by one of the owner's grandmothers). The overall atmosphere is creative and hip, with an eye for design and cool lounging spaces.

Location

In the Central Business District, a short walk from Britomart and the Sky Tower

Map of Hotel DeBrett

The Hotel DeBrett is located right in Auckland's Central Business District (CBD), one block east of Queen Street. It's a short walk from many of the city's major attractions; the New Zealand Maritime Museum is a 12-minute walk from the hotel, while the Auckland Sky Tower takes around eight minutes to reach on foot. Princes Wharf -- which has ferries to nearby attractions such as Rangitoto Island -- and Britomart, a transit center with lots of trendy restaurants are both about seven minutes away on foot. The expansive Auckland War Memorial Museum is a 10-minute drive or half-hour bus ride away, while getting to the airport takes around half an hour by car or an hour and 10 minutes using public transportation. 

Rooms

Bright, eclectically decorated rooms with fabulous bathrooms -- some spread over two floors

The Hotel DeBrett features 25 rooms across four categories. Decor varies a bit from room to room, but all units are bright and cozy, with bright colored, deep-pile, striped carpets, colorful and eclectic furniture -- many pieces with a retro feel -- and black-and-white framed artwork on the walls. All have pillow menus, seating areas, and desks or dining tables along with flat-screen TVs and minibars. Bathrooms feature tiny black tiles and magnifying mirrors and -- with the exception of one of the Classic Room bathrooms --  all have deep soaking tubs and all have rainfall showers and heated bathroom floors. 

Classic Rooms are the smallest and most affordable, while Boutique Suites are a little larger and come with separate living rooms. Duplex-style O'Connel Suites were created with families in mind and have lower-level living rooms with sofa beds and half-baths along with king or queen sized beds on the upper level. These units also come with Playstation 3s, and baby monitors and toys can be arranged on request. Loft Suites are the largest room type and come in two configurations: single-floor suites with city views or courtyard-facing Juliette balconies or two-level loft-style suites with upstairs bedrooms and spiral staircases. All of these room types come with sofa beds. Wi-Fi is free. 

Features

A few small meeting rooms, exceptional restaurant with local cuisine, and two bars

Along with free Wi-Fi, the Hotel DeBrett offers four meeting rooms. The Loft Suite 1.1 fits up to 10 guests and is equipped with basic audiovisual equipment, while a couple of other suites (units 1.8 and 1.9) can be rented out for small meetings of up to four guests. The Cellar also seats 10 people and has audiovisual equipment and a seating area for breakout sessions.

Catering is available through the on-site restaurant, Debretts Kitchen, which serves fine-dining cuisine in a relaxed and stylish atmosphere, with many of the ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers. The restaurant serves a daily continental breakfast (included in room rates), along with a la carte offerings, ranging from porridge to hash cakes incorporating the local kahawai fish. Lunch is served on weekdays and can be ordered a la carte or as a set meal, with an eclectic offering of seafood dishes along with a couple of red meat and veggie options. The weekend brunch has a mix of breakfast and lunch options, while a few snazzier options are added to the dinner menu, such as venison carpaccio and local cheese platters. The restaurant also offers an afternoon tea on the weekends, with a variety of sweet and savory dishes along with tea and local sparkling wine. 

The hotel also has two bars. Housebar is situated one floor above street level and has a selection of New Zealand wines, local microbrews, and plenty of cocktails and spirits. On the ground-floor, the bright Corner Bar is ideal for people-watching, with indoor and outdoor seating and colorful interiors. An eye for design and chic atmosphere are highlights of the property. 

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Address

2 High Street, CBD, Auckland, Auckland Region 1010, New Zealand

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